Realization of a graphene/PMMA acoustic capacitive sensor released by silicon dioxide sacrificial layer

Jing Xu*, Graham Wood, Enrico Mastropaolo, Michael J. Newton, Rebecca Cheung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We report the realization of an acoustic capacitive microphone formed by graphene/poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA). It is the first time that the ultra-large graphene/PMMA membrane suspended fully over the cavity has been fabricated by releasing the silicon dioxide sacrificial layer underneath the membrane. The novelty in the fabrication method is that the silicon dioxide layer has been etched by hydrogen fluoride (HF) vapour from the back of partly etched silicon substrate. Using the new process, the ultra-large graphene/PMMA membrane, with a diameter to thickness ratio of 7800, has been suspended over the cavity with 2 μm air gap. The spacing of 2 μm is the minimum gap over the graphene-based acoustic capacitive microphones which have been reported so far. The static deformation of the suspended graphene/PMMA membrane after the silicon dioxide has been etched is estimated to be 270 nm. The aspect ratio of the membrane's diameter over its static deformation is around 13000, which shows the graphene/PMMA membrane with diameter of a few millimetres can be transferred and suspended over the substrate with relatively small deformation by releasing the sacrificial silicon dioxide layer. The dynamic behaviour of the device under electrostatic actuation has been characterised. The acoustic response of the graphene/PMMA capacitive microphone has been measured and the sensitivity has been observed to be -47.5 dBV (4.22 mV/Pa) ±10 %. The strain in the graphene/PMMA membrane is estimated to be 0.034 %.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38792-38798
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number32
Early online date31 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • graphene
  • graphene transfer
  • audio sensing
  • electro-static
  • MEMS


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